‚ÄúAn exciting and progressive shift in oversight‚ÄĚ is coming for agriculture in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District with the hiring of a dedicated sustainability planner.
‚ÄúAmy Needham will be taking over general administration and management of the ACRD’s agri-food programming,‚ÄĚ the regional district announced at the end of June. ‚ÄúThis new position will ensure that issues of sustainability, including local food and food security, will be directly linked with all other ACRD services.‚ÄĚ
The regional district notes that very few local governments have a staff person dedicated to the agriculture and food sectors, let alone one ‚Äď like Needham ‚Äď who is a professional agrologist.
Melisa Gunn, agriculture planner with the Township of Langley, is one, but is registered as an articling technical agrologist.
Needham also holds a master‚Äôs degree in crop science from the University of Alberta. She worked as an agronomist in Alberta prior to serving with local governments in Grande Prairie and Port Alberni.
‚ÄúI’m happy to be back with my first passion ‚Äď agriculture and food security!‚ÄĚ she said. ‚Äú[I‚Äôm] looking forward to networking and exploring opportunities for public education (and expanding my own knowledge base)!”
Needham succeeds former contractors Anna Lewis and Heather Shobe, who have been part of ACRD’s Agricultural Support Team since 2014.
The hiring of a dedicated sustainability planner coincides with Lewis becoming manager for the Alberni Valley Food Security Society, while Shobe will continue to provide contracted agri-food services to the community through her farm business, Eden Tree Farm and Gardening.